In 1897, a London taxi driver named George Smith crashed his cab into anothervehicle and thus became the very first person to be arrested for drunk driving. Well over one hundred years later, there are still arrests happening today for drunk driving despite the studies that have been done and the laws that have been made.
Most drivers understand that a DUI is a crime and that DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWO is also a crime and stands for Driving While Intoxicated.
Each of these seem like basically the same crime at first glance, however, there is a keen difference to each one. The difference is mostly in the legal aspects of whatever jurisdiction you are in. For example, in Kansas, only the crime of DUI is used which means that they don’t convict for the crime of DWI. You can be convicted of DUI no matter what substance you used before driving. Other states will use DWI for drunk driving and DUI for being high on drugs before driving. Usually, DWI is a more severe charge and refers to the drivers blood alcohol level compared to the legal limit.
If you find yourself facing a DUI or DWI charge, then your addiction has crossed the line into unacceptable territory. Not only are you putting yourself at risk but also you are now risking the lives of others. The judge may decide that it’s time for you to attend rehab. The judge may assign rehab to you. If you complete rehab successfully, the judge will notice at your next court date and take that into consideration.
Going through detox and rehab is an incredible life change. Even if you did it at first just to lighten the punishment for a DUI or DWI, look back at what you’ve accomplished. You will move from rehab to recovery and remain in recovery for much of the remainder of your life. You may still find yourself getting cravings in tough times and it’s important to utilize the tools you were given in rehab to remain in recovery. If you decide to drive drunk or high again, you could kill someone. But if you’re lucky enough to avoid killing someone, you can bet that the judge will not be so lenient.
Understanding why you drank or got high in the first place will allow you to be aware of those situations before you enter into them. For example, moments in which you’re uncomfortable (hungry, mad, annoyed, alone, isolated, tired, bored, drained, etc.) may cause cravings. These kinds of cravings are somewhat easy to avoid. Take good care of yourself. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy meals throughout the day, and take the time to relax and lighten up a little bit. Think you don’t have the time in your day to do that? Just think about all the time you spent getting ahold of your drug, using it, dealing with the consequences later and then feeling bad about it all. You can definitely make the time you need to relax long enough to lighten up a bit so that you have less of a chance to give in to your cravings. Lastly, make a promise to yourself that you will always be honest about your addiction. If your sister asks how you’ve been feeling, be honest and let her know that you had a tough commute last week and really wished you could have a drink when you got home. Then tell her how you overcame the craving. If you make a promise to yourself to always tell the truth, it will help you to be stronger than your strongest cravings. If you do happen to relapse, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just ask your sponsor to adjust your rehab after care and/or give you other tools you might be able to use.
The bottom line is that you want to live a healthier, happier life and that is easily within your reach. It’s important that you stay committed to your sobriety and forgive yourself for any cravings you have, recognize the work you’ve done and use your support system in times of weakness. Should you find yourself in a dark place and facing the judge again, a judge will take your efforts into consideration when deciding on your sentence.